Vidyawardena Vidyalaya, Kolonnawa, 7 February 2018. Heavy South-West Monsoonal rain falls occurring from 25th May 2017 onwards in the south-eastern parts of the Sri Lanka, triggered a major flood and landslide situation in the country where thousands of lives were affected, livelihoods were disrupted, and many properties completely or partially destroyed. People evacuated to camps – schools, temples or other cantonment in the surrounding areas considered ‘safe’ by displaced people - during this time of emergencies.
With experts pointing out to similar adverse weather patterns repeating in the long run, it was important to improve facilities in these camps with the following objectives:
- To improve access to sanitation facilities and safe drinking water at emergency evacuation centers in floods and landslide affected areas.
- To improve access to safe drinking water through rehabilitation of community water supply schemes in affected areas.
- To promote hygienic behaviors among the affected communities.
The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society - SLRCS - with contributions from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, engaged in the construction of new toilets and water points in 3 selected locations in each of the 5 worst affected districts – Colombo, Kaluthara, Ratnapura, Galle and Matara. In each of these safe locations, 4 toilets and 8 water points were constructed while 2 water tanks were installed.
On 7th February 2018, H. E. Jörn Rohde – Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Sri Lanka attended the ceremonial opening of facilities in the Vidyawardena Vidyalaya in the Kolonnawa Divisional Secretariat which will benefit an estimated 1,200 beneficiaries. In addition Mr. S. B. Madugalle – Deputy Director General, SLRCS, Mr. Gerhard Tauscher – Operations Manager, IFRC, Ms. Samadhee Attanayake – Project Officer, SLRCS, Mr. Rukshan Peiris – Hony. Chairman and Ms. Kumari Kotalalwala – Branch Executive Officer of SLRCS Colombo Branch respectively, also took part in the Event.